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Hot and Cold Baseball Teams

   by Matt Fargo - 06/04/2009

The baseball season is in full swing and Matt Fargo will be examining teams that are hot and teams that are not and how they can make us some money. This week he takes a look at some cold teams that may be providing some good value to play against in the upcoming schedule.

San Diego Padres 25-28 +0.28 Units

The Padres put together a 10-game winning streak to try and put some pressure on the Dodgers but who are we kidding? San Diego does not have the bats or the pitching to be a player in the National League West. Since that winning streak came to an end, the Padres have gone 2-6 and are looking like another swoon is about to take place. While the end of May was good, the beginning of May was not as they went 2-11 to start the month and that was simply too big of a hole to dig out of.

San Diego has one great pitcher in Jake Peavy but his days in a Padre uniform are numbered. Even he is not having a great season with a 4.10 ERA to go along with a 5-6 record through 12 starts. Considering that is the best ERA among starters, it is easy to figure out that the starting staff is not good at all. Overall, the team ERA is 4.43 which is just below average but it is due to a decent bullpen ranked 11th in baseball with a 4.04 ERA. The offense is dead last in the Majors with a .238 average while their 209 runs scored are third worst.

That big winning streak may still be fresh in the minds of some bettors so we may still see some good value going the other way. The Padres have a weekend series at home against the Diamondbacks starting Friday so we will see some decent numbers to play against as Arizona is not going to be big favorites. After that come five games against the Dodgers and Angels. We may not see the value we would like in those games therefore we will take a look at the runlines in those contests.

Baltimore Orioles 24-30 -3.62 Units

The Orioles are in last place in the American League East but at just six games under .500, is there hope on the horizon? Nah. Baltimore used to be a power team annually but things have gone from bad to worse in recent years. The Orioles are stockpiling young players, some of which we are seeing already, so within a couple years they have the potential to make a move. Right now however, I see a slide coming on following what was a very decent month of May.

Pitching problems are the recurring theme for Baltimore’s lack of success and this year is no different. The Orioles have a team ERA of 5.16 which is ahead of only the Indians in the American League. The starters have a 5.33 ERA while the bullpen has a 5.07 ERA so there is no strength anywhere among the arms. Baltimore has used nine different starters which is a sure sign that problems exist. As far as offense, Baltimore is hitting .268 while scoring 255 runs, both of which are in the top half of the league. The problem is that it is hardly strong enough to make up for the putrid pitching taking place.

The Orioles lost two of three in Seattle before heading to Oakland for a weekend series beginning Friday. We may not see a ton of value going against the Orioles but starting next week that will change. Baltimore is home for nine straight games against the Mariners, Braves and Mets. Being home, playing against Baltimore will be much easier since it will be favored in some games along with being slight underdogs in others. Keep an eye on the upcoming numbers and find those play-against spots to take advantage.

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